Clothing Trades Workers prepare and cut garment patterns and fabric, and make and repair garments.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Most workers have not completed any post school qualifications (that is, they have finished either Year 10, 11 or 12 only). Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Tasks

  • conferring with customers to determine material, styles and designs of garments
  • interpreting designs, sketches and samples to determine pattern specifications
  • cutting out master patterns
  • laying up and cutting fabric
  • pinning, basting and draping garment parts
  • sewing garments
  • fitting basted garments on customers and marking areas requiring alteration
  • sewing buttonholes, and sewing on buttons, hooks, eyes and press fasteners to finish garments
  • pressing and finishing work

Job Titles

  • Apparel Cutter
  • Clothing Patternmaker
  • Dressmaker or Tailor
  • Other Clothing Trades Workers
  • Apparel Cutter

    Lays out, marks and cuts fabric to form parts of garments.

  • Clothing Patternmaker

    Draws sets of master patterns following sketches, sample articles and design specifications, and cuts out patterns for garments.

    Specialisations: Pattern Grader (Clothing), Patternmaker-Grader

  • Dressmaker or Tailor

    Makes, alters and repairs women's and men's tailored garments, formal wear, couturier clothing, and special occasion wear such as suits, dresses, coats, evening wear and bridal wear.

    Specialisations: Costume Maker, Wardrobe Assistant, Wardrobe Coordinator

  • Other Clothing Trades Workers

    Includes Milliner

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    Unavailable
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    8000
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    22.7%
  • Female Share

    77.3%
  • Full-Time Share

    49.0%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 8,000 workers. The number of workers has grown very strongly over the past 5 years.
Over the next 5 years (to May 2022) the number of workers is expected to fall to 6,900. Less than 1,000 job openings are likely over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Clothing Trades Workers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Manufacturing; Retail Trade; and Other Services.
  • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 34.5 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 52 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 6 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200710800
20087700
20099800
201010400
20119900
20126900
20139000
20145900
20159900
20164200
20178000
20226900

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Hours

Full-Time and Part-Time Status (% Share) and Average Weekly Hours (Full-Time)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryClothing Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time4968.4
Part-time5131.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)34.540

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing63.5
Retail Trade18.7
Other Services8
Wholesale Trade4.5
Other Industries5.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateClothing Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW22.431.8
VIC34.725.5
QLD15.319.8
SA7.96.8
WA16.711.2
TAS2.12
NT01.1
ACT0.81.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketClothing Trades WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-243.9-9.99.9
25-3417-23.423.4
35-4418.2-21.721.7
45-5419-21.121.1
55-5913.4-8.78.7
60-6413.8-5.95.9
65 and Over14.7-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryClothing Trades WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males22.7Males53.6
Females77.3Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Most workers have not completed any post school qualifications (that is, they have finished either Year 10, 11 or 12 only). Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Clothing Trades Workers who are hardworking, reliable and work well in a team.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    80% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Design

    65% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  3. Education and Training

    63% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  4. Mathematics

    62% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. English Language

    61% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-6052.00 - Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Controlling Machines and Processes

    80% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  2. Getting Information

    78% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    77% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  4. Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work

    74% Important

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  5. Thinking Creatively

    72% Important

    Using your own ideas to developing, designing, or creating something new.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-6052.00 - Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers.

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